Understanding SATs results
Once the exams are over and your child has settled back into everyday school life, it can be easy to forget about SATs – until results day! We answer your questions about how the papers are marked and how secondary schools use the results.
How are SATs marked?
When and how will I get the results?
It’s down to each school to decide how they give individual pupils' results to parents. Many schools send a sheet of results home with the child, usually as part of their end-of-year report, if the marks come through before the end of term.
For KS1 SATs you won't receive your child's actual SATs scores unless you ask for them, but you will be told whether your child is working at the expected standard as part of your child's end-of-KS1 teacher report and assessment.
National, local authority and individual schools' results are published in December.
What are the SATs levels?
The national average was level 2b for KS1 SATs, and level 4b for KS2 SATs. Children who achieved level 5 or 6 at the end of Year 6 were performing significantly above average.
SATs results were presented to parents in this format, using National Curriculum levels, until July 2015.
What do the SATs results mean?
This scoring method is widely used for school assessments across the world. To calculate a child's scaled score, their raw score – in other words, the actual number of marks they achieved – will be converted into a scaled score. This is used to show whether the child has achieved the national standard for that subject. It also allows for comparisons of pupil performance over time as every scaled score represents the same level of attainment, whether a child has taken the test in 2016 or in 2018.
In the past, there was a separate Level 6 SATs paper that only the highest-achieving children were entered for. This separate paper is no longer be set, but the tests taken by every KS2 child will have questions that are designed to allow the higher-attaining pupils to show their strengths.
KS1 SATs scores explained
Teachers are given conversion tables to translate their pupils' raw scores into scaled scores. They'll then use these scores to inform their teacher assessment. This means that the score that your child is given may not be the result they achieved in their SATs, but a score based on SATs results, classwork and the teacher's observations.
KS2 SATs scores explained
Each child will be awarded a raw score and a scaled score, and receive confirmation of whether or not they achieved the national standard (‘NS’ means the expected standard was not achieved; ‘AS’ means the expected standard was achieved).
Please note that schools are free to report SATs results as they choose, so as a parent you might be given their sclaed score or a code (or both); you are unlikely to be told your child's raw test scores.
The list of KS2 SATs outcome codes in full is:
- AS: the expected standard has been achieved
- NS: the expected standard has not been achieved
- A: the child was absent from one or more of the test papers
- B: the child is working below the level assessed by KS2 SATs
- M: the child missed the test
- T: the child is working at the level of the tests but is unable to access them (because all or part of a test is not suitable for a pupil with particular special educational needs)
- 80 is the lowest possible scaled score
- 120 is the highest possible scaled score
In 2016 the average scaled score was above the "expected standard": in reading the average scaled score was 103, in maths it was 103 and in grammar, punctuation and spelling it was 104. Overall 53% of pupils met the new expected standard in reading, writing (which is teacher-assessed in Year 6) and mathematics.
In 2017 61% of pupils met the new expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics. In reading, 71% achieved the standard, in maths 75% met the standard, in spelling, punctuation and grammar tests 77% of pupils met the expected standard, and in writing a total of 76% of children met the expected standard.
Teacher-assessment results at the end of Year 6
- GDS: Working at greater depth within the expected standard (for writing assessment only)
- EXS: Working at the expected standard
- WTS: Working towards the expected standard (for writing assessment only)
- HNM: Has not met the expected standard (reading and maths assessment only)
- PKG: Pre-key stage, growing development of the expected standard (the child is working at a lower level than expected)
- PKF: Pre-key stage, foundations for the expected standard (the child is working at a significantly lower level than expected)
- BLW: The child is working below the pre-key stage standards (the lowest level of attainment)
- A: Awarded if the child was absent
- D: Awarded if the child is disapplied (has not been been tested at KS2 level)